The Wait

The Wait

She lies in bed, wondering: what will it be like? The end.

Fran waits, apathetically, hoping the telephone will ring and it will be someone she likes on the other end. Lately, it’s mostly bill collectors’. Or it’s Sylvia, who is desperately lost. Or Maya, who she still has to translate into English.

Earlier that night, Fran watched a Lifetime movie about a woman. She’d had a horrible car accident, and wasn’t able to work anymore. When she died, she was alone. This really struck a deep chord in Fran. That poor woman. The same thing could happen to her, Fran worried.

On nights like this, when no-one calls, Fran looks through her A T & T phonebook at names that sound or resemble an old lover or acquaintance. Fran jots them into a little notebook. She keeps long lists of people’s names, then memorizes them in alphabetical order.

12 thoughts on “The Wait

  1. Theo

    This is really sad, and feels strange at the end. Is Fran obsessed? Or does her loneliness lead her to behaviors that are slightly strange? Either way, it’s haunting.

    Reply
  2. Beverly

    I know you like some of your short stories really short, but this one could have gone on longer for me. I wanted to know more about Fran, and her fascination with the names from her past list she keeps. Also, her fear of dying alone, which I think is completely real and ultimately the human plight- we come into life alone, and we leave life the same way. Very provocative writing, Robert.

    Reply
  3. carolyn

    Takes one straight into the emotional despair, you just feel bad for Fran. I know if you have been there once the darkness of loneliness is always waiting.

    Reply
  4. Ian

    Why are the friends who do call not good enough for her? Do they remind her of some aspect of herself that she doesn’t like?

    Reply
  5. theprayerlady

    Oh I’m slapp’n the snot right out of ya. What was that. No phone calls, no letters, no foreplay??????????? Geeeeeeeeezzzzzz.
    Love Mom

    Reply

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